BOSTON (CBS) – In doing research on Dumb Money Moves I found a great list in a CNN article:
Putting All Your Eggs In Company Stock
If the business falters, your retirement plan could fall off along with it. Limit company stock to 10% of your portfolio. Try to tell that to the kids working at Facebook.
Cashing Out Your 401(K)
Leave your 401(k) alone when you leave your job. If you cash out, not only will you pay a 10% penalty and income taxes, but you’ll also lose out on future tax-free growth.
Buying An Investment You Don’t Understand
To know if it makes sense for you, you have to make sense of it. Ask your broker, planner or agent questions, and if the answers aren’t clear, move on.
Retirement Plan Folly
Saving for your children’s college education at the expense of fully funding your 401(k) is a bad choice. Your kids can always take out loans, but you won’t be able to borrow for your retirement.
Buying Last Year’s Top Performing Mutual Fund
Today’s hot fund is almost certain to be tomorrow’s loser. Opt for funds with a history of low costs and returns in line with peers.
Buying Tax-Free Bonds And Variable Annuities For Your IRA
It’s like wearing a poncho and carrying an umbrella, only worse. You get no extra tax benefit from the annuity, and the bonds’ interest will end up taxed.
Stretching Out Loan Payments
If you take a 40-year mortgage or a six-year auto loan, you’ll fail to build equity, and you’ll pay more interest over the life of the loan.
Poor Claim Management
Filing homeowners insurance claims for minor bills that exceed your deductible by a couple hundred bucks is not smart. You’ll just wind up paying more in premiums the following year. Save claims for the real disasters.
Applying For More Than Two Credit Cards
You’ll damage your credit score while increasing your temptation to run up balances.
Buying Life Insurance On Your Kids
If your kids don’t support the family, they don’t need insurance.
Getting A Tax Refund
It’s an interest-free loan to Uncle Sam. Use the calculator at irs.gov to adjust your withholding so that you can keep more cash each month.
Job Hunting At Work
This one is a no-brainer but people have been caught! Don’t photocopy your resume at the office instead of at Staples. Ask yourself if the money you’re saving is worth the risk that you’ll a) have a paper jam; b) run into your boss; or c) leave your original in the machine.